This week I’m setting an SMS gateway for the GlobalGiving Storytelling Project. This would allow us to deliver feedback to the 6000+ storytellers in Kenya and Uganda, hopefully supplying them with useful information about HIV testing, meetings, sports events, etc. I’d even like to set up a “search stories by SMS” feature where you text in a question and it delivers back a story that best matches your text message.
In the other direction, this same technology allows us to add an “ask the storyteller a question” feature to each of the public stories, and we can then relay that message to the author and post a reply. All in due time.
Of course we can only share these tools with people who checked the box on the paper form “[ ] It’s okay to contact me by SMS.”
Here is where it gets interesting. A person’s openness to receiving messages is very different from one town to the next:
Question: Can we contact you later by SMS?
|City||OK||NOT OK||Trust Ratio|
|NAIROBI (mostly Kibera slum)||3841||3653||1.05|
I am going to assume that people who don’t want to be contacted have a lower trust of outsiders. If you are reading this and live in America – where marketers flood your email, phone, and television with unwanted advertisements, you would attribute the reason check the “do not disturb” box to general annoyance, but here – we haven’t been flooded yet. Not even in Nairobi. I only get phone spam from SafariCom.
Of the three locations (among the top 20 biggest places) with the largest percentage of people opting out, 2 are in Nairobi and one is the epicenter of the 2007 post election violence (Eldoret). I think this supports my theory the the ratio of opt-ins to opt-outs is correlated with trust. If if you looked at this as purely a function of urbanness, Kampalans prefer getting SMS feedback three times as much as Nairobians.
People are quite a bit more open to being contacted in Western Kenya (Kakamega, Busia, Kitale) than in Central Kenya (Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisii). Ugandans fall somewhere in between. Although previously I showed that people in Uganda are much more reluctant to provide negative feedback than Kenyans.
Related Trust post about Uganda & Kenya: I trust you but…